TU-22M3s in the air - Russia readies for a large-scaled military op | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

25 July,

TU-22M3s in the air - Russia readies for a large-scaled military op

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Seeking chance to strengthen its position in Syria, Russia still keeps showing extreme resistance. Moscow, which has not been able to solve both global and regional problems in a democratic and civilised manner, is again on the agenda with two main messages.
On May 25, President Vladimir Putin announced that the S-500 surface-to-air missile & anti-ballistic missile system had already been tested and was ready for armament. In addition, Russia that has always boasted of its military might, this time deployed three long-range Tu-22M3 warplanes capable of carrying a nuclear warhead at the Hmeimim air base in Syria. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the delivery of military warplanes to Syria is aimed at conducting large-scale exercises, including familiarisation with the air borders over the Mediterranean. Russia's Defence Ministry says the planes were delivered shortly, but reliable sources say special runways are being built at the Hmeimim base in Syria. This also coincides with the information provided by the Russian Interior Ministry that more heavy aircraft will be brought to the base.
Another noteworthy issue is Russia's start of exercises on the Mediterranean. Firstly eyeing on the Black Sea and then to the Mediterranean, Russia is as though showing its military power. But what will be the reaction of Turkey, another leading country in the Mediterranean?
ЭНГИН ОЗЕР: «МИНСК, БАКУ И АНКАРА — ЛАЗЕЙКИ ДЛЯ РОССИЙСКОГО ОРУЖИЯ» ,  Азербайджан, Беларусь, ВПК, ОЗЕР, Россия, Турция, Экспертно-аналитическая  сеть PolitRUS
To clarify all these questions, Eurasia Diary interviewed Turkish political expert Engin Ozer.
- Russia has deployed TU-22M3 warplanes at the Hmeimim military base in Syria. According to the report, the planes will begin military exercises over the Mediterranean. Can Russia's military action be considered a threat to Turkey?
- As you know, TU-22M3 military aircrafts are not fighters, but bombers, which have the capacity to carry serious weapons and ammunition. This indicates that Russia's deployment of these planes at a military base in Syria indicates its intention to launch military operations on land in the near future. The first possibility is that Russia may launch air and ground operations in Idlib. Such an operation could repeat the earlier bombing of Aleppo. Russia's involvement in the Idlib operation can, of course, run parallel to the political process in Turkey. Basically, Russia expects Turkey to weaken in part as a result of internal political strife in order to launch such an operation.
The second possibility is to protect Russia's borders along the Mediterranean in order to protect oil wells in Syria.
A third possibility is that Russia will launch military operations to preserve its influence in Libya. In any case, it can be seen that in any case, Russia is preparing for a major air operation. The most convincing version is the operation in Idlib.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the S-500 surface-to-air missile & anti-ballistic missile systems are through the testing and ready for armament. In general, what is behind Russia's aggressive military build-up?
- In fact, the S-500 is a missile system that has been designed not for attack, but simply for air defence. Russia has worked hard to improve this missile system in the last 3-4 years. Russia has previously sold S-400s to countries such as India, China and Turkey, removing them from military armaments because it intended to use S-500s. In other words, along with armaments, Russia is expanding the arms trade. It replaces the old S-400s with S-500s, and sells S-400s en masse.
- How long will Russia be able to withstand this arms race?
- Currently, the situation in Russia, from air defence to other military equipment, could not be satisfactory. Russia still has difficulty using SU-57s. Another problem is the age limit for Russian navy. With the exception of a few Soviet-era Russian submarines, it cannot be considered a dangerous rival from the sea. Therefore, it is understandable that it wants to strengthen its military arsenal. But Russia does not appear to have a serious intention to arm itself. At present, Russia prefers the production of defence equipment to develop trade.
Elnur Enveroglu


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